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Getting Creative With Cap Space

The Stars moved Ben Bishop’s cap hit along with a seventh round pick. The Oilers could take a page from Dallas’ playbook.

Dallas Stars v Colorado Avalanche - Game Five Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

I love it when future considerations gets moved. Future Considerations has got to have some serious air rewards, always getting acquired by various clubs.

The Stars moved goaltender Ben Bishop to the Sabres along with a seventh round draft choice for future considerations. Along with Bishop goes his near 5 million dollar cap hit. Why would the Sabres be remotely interested in acquiring a goaltender who will never suit up for the team? They’re far away from the cap floor. Though Bishop will never play a game for the Sabres, he’s owed less actual dollars than his cap hit. The Sabres save a bit of actual cash, but they’re closer to the cap floor by making the deal. The Stars shipped a seventh round pick to help sweeten the deal.

So what’s in it for Dallas? The Stars don’t save any actual cap space, but it gets them out of having to worry about LTIR while saving real dollars in the process. While cap space and actual dollars are two different things in the NHL, the creativity to send a contract along with a draft pick could be something the Oilers could look into in order to get some cap relief.

The Oilers would benefit greatly by freeing up some cap, as they’ve got to get all of their RFAs (and Brett Kulak) signed. With just over seven million in space, they’ve got Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujärvi, and Ryan McLeod all ready for new contracts. Brett Kulak is a UFA that the Oilers really should lock down as well. They’ll probably be in the market for a goaltender in the not-too-distant future, so every little bit of cap space counts.

Ken Holland has just over a month until the annual free agent frenzy begins. I’m not sure that the Oilers will be big players in this year’s market, but they’ve got to lock down all of what they can that’s in-house for now. Strapping an unwanted contract and shipping it to, oh, Buffalo, or maybe Arizona with a draft pick would go a long way into freeing up some much-needed cap space. Zack Kassian’s got two years at 3.2 million remaining, Tyson Barrie could fetch an actual return if Holland plays his cards right.

Maybe with all of that space they could save, the Oilers might be able to help bring in a goaltender this offseason. Wild, I know.